The technician who came to diagnose our heating problems this week has been to our house several times over the years for parts replacements and general service. He is familiar with our system and our old house. He often notices changes we've made and will compliments us on our choices. He seems wise and considerate in his care.
After he had a good look at the problem and fiddled with some parts and made some adjustments, he stood and looked thoughtfully at our 30 year old system.
He placed his hand tenderly on the boiler and told me it might just be time to replace the whole thing now.
He gently showed me all the different issues we were dealing with and how if we were to fix many of these we would most likely have to do all that work again when the unit finally stopped working. And that day was inevitable.
He turned and panned the room and said - "You know, really - its not that hard of a job, maybe 4 or 5 hours. The biggest concern of mine would be ...your basement floor is so clean."